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Apple's rumored switch to IGZO displays could boost MacBook battery life

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
The next generation of MacBooks could, if Apple decides to make the switch, feature a new technology that would significantly boost battery life while giving users a better display quality.



Apple is once again rumored to be considering indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) LCDs, this time for inclusion in not only upcoming versions of its iPad, but also in its forthcoming MacBook Pros. A report from Korea IT News has the Cupertino company talking with Sharp and LG Display in preparation for wider manufacture.

The new MacBooks would reportedly be scheduled for release some time early in 2014, though the report gives no word on when IGZO-packing iPads would be set for release. The latest speculation surrounding the iPad does make mention of reduced backlighting and improved battery life, both of which could be outgrowths of IGZO technology.

An oxide semiconductor, IGZO is about 10 times faster in electron mobility than an amorphous silicon semiconductor. This allows the technology to consume far less power in operation. IGZO also requires smaller wiring, which also contributes to its lower power consumption.

The panels are significantly more expensive than traditional LCDs, though, so that could represent an obstacle for Apple in bringing them to market in the MacBook Pro line. Some estimates have Apple paying 1.5 to two times as much for the same panel sizes seen in current models.

A switch to IGZO could be in keeping with Apple's already established goals for this generation of MacBooks. When introducing the 2013 MacBook Air, Apple made sure to note that the inclusion of Intel's new Haswell processors had boosted overall battery life to 12 hours for the 13-inch model. The inclusion of less power-intensive displays could push the next generation of MacBook Pros to even greater heights.

Apple has long been rumored to have been looking at IGZO technology for future devices. Previous rumors have focused on the iPhone or iPad.
post #2 of 34
Something tells me a battery life improvement from this technology would be far more valuable than increasing the pixel density on the retina display.
post #3 of 34

I don't think the MacBook air will get a retina screen anytime soon (given that they were just updated).

 

But I could see the retina MacBook Pro get noticeably thiner an lighter while still getting a battery life boost because of Haswell and IGZO displays.

post #4 of 34
IGZO. The solution to whatever the problem was.

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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #5 of 34

For some reason, reading IGZO always make me think about a French comic called Iznogoud.

post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

IGZO. The solution to whatever the problem was.

Haha- exactly. If it is what they say it is, it will be awesome to see on both Macs and iDevices. We'll see...

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini Retina, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPod Touch 5
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post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The panels are significantly more expensive than traditional LCDs, though, so that could represent an obstacle for Apple in bringing them to market in the MacBook Pro line. Some estimates have Apple paying 1.5 to two times as much for the same panel sizes seen in current models.

 

I think I'd be willing to pay the premium.

post #8 of 34

And this is one reason Apple holds on to their huge cash piles as it would bring a buying opportunity not easily match by other manufacturers. 

post #9 of 34
And it cost $50 Kajillion dollars!!!!!! No, just joking.

It looks cool.

I think Apple needs to just buy Sharp and then have this technology to themselves.
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The panels are significantly more expensive than traditional LCDs, though, so that could represent an obstacle for Apple in bringing them to market in the MacBook Pro line. Some estimates have Apple paying 1.5 to two times as much for the same panel sizes seen in current models.

Not worried about it. The display probably costs $100 in the current model. So even in the worst case, it goes to $200. (And, of course, these analysts rarely know what they're talking about so it is probably less of an increase). Now, factor in the smaller battery and going back to a single backlight instead of the dual backlights in the Retina MBP and the price difference is even lower. But on a $2-3 K laptop, that's 3-5%. Apple can live with that for a while until manufacturing efficiencies improve - especially since Apple's demand would probably use up all available supply and no one else could get them.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
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post #11 of 34
That would be great. Apple is pointing to a matter I'm concerned.
post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


Not worried about it. The display probably costs $100 in the current model. So even in the worst case, it goes to $200. (And, of course, these analysts rarely know what they're talking about so it is probably less of an increase). Now, factor in the smaller battery and going back to a single backlight instead of the dual backlights in the Retina MBP and the price difference is even lower. But on a $2-3 K laptop, that's 3-5%. Apple can live with that for a while until manufacturing efficiencies improve - especially since Apple's demand would probably use up all available supply and no one else could get them.


I suspect they've done the same thing in the past. Prices are consistent throughout a cycle, so examining it at a broader scale rather than micromanaging each purchase would seem to make more sense for a company that isn't having cash flow issues. I'm skeptical of IGZO overall. Blogs have used the term to generate traffic for the past couple years regardless of Sharp's state (which I haven't looked into lately).

post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

IGZO. The solution to whatever the problem was.

The problem was that other displays used 'amorphous silicon semiconductors' better known as ASS
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by VL-Tone View Post

For some reason, reading IGZO always make me think about a French comic called Iznogoud.


I'm assuming your Lysdexic then?
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
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post #15 of 34

Meh, Android has had this for years¡

post #16 of 34
Finally, some IGZO news. If Apple is the first to introduce this technology on a mass scale, it will be a very big deal. Wall Street might even be impressed. Maybe even Constable Odo. But i wouldn't bet on them seeing the significance.
post #17 of 34
Apple's capital investment strategy has been to purchase equipment for their component suppliers to use. That would be a great investment if IGZO is as good asa it looks. Apple could even help Sharp with their financial problems by purchasing the equipment currently in place. And increasing production capacity as an extra bonus.

Both investments would dramatically reduce the component costs.

Actually, since IGZO has been so clearly demonstrated to the public it is hard to believe that Apple hasn't known about it for a long time and has already had discussions with Sharp.
Ken
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Ken
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post #18 of 34
@kenaustus, Talk of Apple investing in Sharp for IGZO to the tune of a couple of billion goes back more than a year, if my memory serves.
Edited by Flaneur - 7/10/13 at 11:29pm
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

@kenaustus, Talk of Apple investing in Sharp for IGZO to the tunebof a couple of billion goes back more than a year, if my memory serves.

 

Apple has probably been planning this with Sharp since 2010...
 
Days after a story claiming Apple and Toshiba were going to partner to build an LCD factory was emphatically denied, a new report now claims that Apple is instead partnering with Sharp to build a $1.2 billion facility.
 

Edited by iMax1 - 7/10/13 at 7:22pm
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

@kenaustus, Talk of Apple investing in Sharp for IGZO to the tunebof a couple of billion goes back more than a year, if my memory serves.

 

...and then there was this...

 

 

Apple reportedly picks Toshiba as sole supplier of iPhone LCDs

 

 

 

 

 

According to a Japanese newspaper, Apple has dropped plans to invest in a production facility at Sharp and decided to use Toshiba as the sole manufacturer of liquid crystal displays for the iPhone.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/04/20/apple_picks_toshiba_as_sole_supplier_of_iphone_lcds_rumor

 

... which seemingly contradicts the earlier rumor...

post #21 of 34

With a screen like that, Apple could - dare I say it - rule the world.

post #22 of 34
I am IGZO. I travelled back in time to murder Samsung.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

@kenaustus, Talk of Apple investing in Sharp for IGZO to the tunebof a couple of billion goes back more than a year, if my memory serves.

... or does it?   The saga continues...

 

 

Apple again rumored to invest $1B in Sharp plant for iPhone, iPad LCDs

 

A rumor that Apple is planning to invest $1 billion in a new Sharp factory for building screens for its iPhone and iPad products has resurfaced, just days after a separate report claimed that the next-generation iPad has been delayed in part because of production constraints from the supplier.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/17/apple_again_rumored_to_invest_1b_in_sharp_plant_for_iphone_ipad_lcds

 

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

@kenaustus, Talk of Apple investing in Sharp for IGZO to the tunebof a couple of billion goes back more than a year, if my memory serves.

... and continues...

 

 

$1B Apple-Sharp deal more likely LCD prepayment than plant investment

 

Contrary to recent reports that Apple would invest $1 billion in an LCD manufacturing plant from Sharp, industry insiders believe it's more likely that Apple is simply making an advance payment to secure display components.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/08/18/1b_apple_sharp_deal_more_likely_lcd_prepayment_than_plant_investment

 

... and continues...

 

 

WSJ: Apple investing in Sharp plant for iPad 3 displays

 

Sharp is said to be ramping up production of LCD panels for the next-generation iPad after an investment from Apple for its manufacturing facilities, according to a new report.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/11/11/25/wsj_apple_investing_in_sharp_plant_for_ipad_3_displays

 

... and continues...

 

 

Industry insiders downplay likelihood of Apple television release in Q2 2012

 

As rumors continue to swirl that Apple is preparing to launch a connected television set, a new report claims it is highly unlikely that the company will release such a device in the second quarter of 2012 because Sharp has limited production of the IGZO panels reportedly bound for the device.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/02/02/industry_insiders_downplay_likelihood_of_apple_television_release_in_q2_2012

 

...

 

 

Foxconn's investment in Sharp yields new iPhone display plant

 

Foxconn plans to use its newfound partnership with Sharp to build a new plant in China that will produce screens for Apple's iPhone.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/05/24/foxconns_investment_in_sharp_yields_new_iphone_display_plant

 

...

 

 

Foxconn rumored to begin receiving Apple television LCDs in Q3 2012

A new rumor claims Sharp is set to begin delivering LCD TV panels to assembler Foxconn in order to begin building Apple television sets.

 

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/06/21/foxconn_rumored_to_begin_receiving_apple_television_lcds_in_q3_2012

 

...

 

 

Foxconn & Sharp may spend $1B on LCD plant to boost production for Apple

 

Foxconn and Sharp are considering a $1 billion investment in a Japanese LCD plant in order to build more display panels for Apple's iPhone and other devices.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/08/30/foxconn_sharp_may_spend_1b_on_lcd_plant_to_boost_production_for_apple

...

 

Hon Hai chairman demands management role at Sharp to finalize deal

 

Terry Gou, the chairman of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., has demanded a management role at Sharp before his company will agree to invest in the struggling LCD maker.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/09/03/hon_hai_chairman_demands_management_role_at_sharp_to_finalize_deal

...

Apple may have invested $2 billion to aid struggling display maker Sharp

 

Apple's annual capital expenditures report came in $2.3 billion higher than anticipated, which has led one analyst to believe Apple could have put a significant amount of money into key but struggling supplier Sharp.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/11/07/apple-may-have-invested-2-billion-to-aid-struggling-display-maker-sharp

...

 

 

Apple considered buying stake in Sharp to aid development of television - report

As it is believed to be gearing up to launch its own television, Apple initially considered investing in Sharp's LCD business, but the company instead opted to let its manufacturing partner Foxconn fill that role, according to a new report.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/04/13/apple_considered_buying_stake_in_sharp_to_aid_development_of_television___report.html

 

... and who knows what else?   There are a lot of lines to read between to get to the truth.


Edited by iMax1 - 7/10/13 at 8:23pm
post #25 of 34

Apple: "Yes, I would like to place an order for all the IGZO displays you can possibly make for the next 3 years. Sure we'll pay up front"

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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post #26 of 34
iMAX1, thanks for pulling all those together. I was hoping someone would cite a link, and look what happened. Where there's smoke there's fire. Can't wait to see how this turns out.
post #27 of 34

You know, if Apple used IGZO displays and produced a MBPr that absolutely took the world by storm, but cut their margin by 3% to 5% to maintain the same retail price... The entire bottom would fall out of Apple's stock and analysts would be predicting Apple's total doom!!!

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #28 of 34

Take this rumor with all the grains of salt we didn't use in the several years worth of "Apple considering OLED displays."

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post #29 of 34

Samsung will probably do the same as they bought 3% of Sharps share last month...
 

post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Meh, Android has had this for years¡

Your thinking AMOLED. Apples LCD screens are still superior to AMOLED in colours and brightness. IGZO will be even better.

Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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Help! I'm trapped in a white dungeon of amazing precision and impeccable tolerances!

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post #31 of 34

The video is interesting, it shows how much new markets can be made with that tech. Its not just about computer screens.

post #32 of 34
"An oxide semiconductor, IGZO is about 10 times faster in electron mobility than an amorphous silicon semiconductor. This allows the technology to consume far less power in operation. IGZO also requires smaller wiring, which also contributes to its lower power consumption. "

This screams iDevice. Plus the smaller screens should be less of a quality control or manufacturing challenge.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GadgetCanadaV2 View Post

Your thinking AMOLED. Apples LCD screens are still superior to AMOLED in colours and brightness. IGZO will be even better.


While I thought it was a silly comment anyway, you did miss the ¡ used to indicate sarcasm.

post #34 of 34
Quote:
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leaot View Post

Samsung will probably do the same as they bought 3% of Sharps share last month...
 

 

 

 

Samsung to become Sharp's largest foreign shareholder with 3% stake worth $112M

2013 03 Wed, 03:06:00 AM, Posted By AppleInsider Staff

Japanese electronics maker Sharp announced on Wednesday that Samsung will invest some $112 million for a 3 percent stake in the company, with the deal providing for the long-term supply of LCD panels.

"Sharp plans to put the proceeds toward the development of high-definition LCD technologies and investment in facilities dedicated to the manufacture of mobile LCD panels."

 

 

Apple supplier Sharp strikes strategic deal with Samsung

2013 05 Tue, 09:43:31 AM, Posted By Kevin Bostic

Sharp, a key supplier of components that go into iPads and iPhones, lost $5.4 billion last year, prompting the Japanese display maker to increase its reliance on Apple's top rival, Samsung, in order to survive.

 


Edited by iMax1 - 7/11/13 at 5:42pm
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